Rock preservationists Stone Axe release a collection of rarities, Stay Of Execution.
Tony Reed started Stone Axe in 2007, a band that plays with a 1970s rock sensibility. A lot of music has been released under this moniker, including two full-length studio albums to go along with the EPs, splits, and live sets. I have listened to everything I can get my hands on that has come out from Stone Axe and I have never been disappointed.
The best description of the new album comes from Tony Reed himself. “Stay of Execution is an album of unreleased recordings and tracks we like that were hidden in the grooves of vinyl that was released in very limited numbers with little or no promotion. All songs were recorded between 2008 and 2011 and cover a wide spectrum of styles in that seventies vein we were known for. The musical concepts of proto-metal, southern rock, psychedelic rock, and folk rock are well-explored in this collection. Seven of the eight tracks on the album feature the usual studio collaboration of Reed / Brinkerhoff, while the last song includes all four members of the live band. I feel like these tracks are as strong as anything on our other long players. It’s great to see them finally get released.”
The first two songs released from the album are “Fell On Deaf Ears” and “Lady Switchblade.” The former is a fast-moving getaway with piercing guitars and the fluid vocal style fans appreciate so much. “Lady Switchblade” takes a softer approach, despite the theme and lyrics – “Lady, Lady Switchblade / I feel your steel on my jugular vein.” The slower pace does not take the edge off the guitars at all. In fact, rather like Thin Lizzy used to do so well, the slower song has a deeper emotional component and delivers a big impact in the end.
And of course there is lot more. “Sweet Sweet Time” is a bluesy, soulful piece of wonderment. “Metal Damage” is an energetic affair that puts me in mind of Gillan a little it, and that is a good thing. “King Of Everything” sets you straight on the way things are, and when you hear it you know it is right. Playing this album will make any day a better day. Highly recommended.
Stay Of Execution is out now through Ripple Music. Have a look at the possibilities – links below.
Ripple Music, https://www.ripple-music.com/
© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.